Monday, 29 January 2018

C is for... Cyber Planner

During the Cybermen's attempt to take over the W3 space station, they made use of a Cyber Planner. This was a communications device linked to their command network, which enabled the Cybermen on the station to update and adjust their plans. One of the human captives who had been mentally conditioned by the Cybermen was ordered to picture in his mind all of the people on the Wheel, and these images were scanned by the Cyber Planner in order to identify the person who seemed to be anticipating their plans and preventing their success. This, of course, proved to be the Doctor. As with all Cyber technology, the Planner appeared to have organic components.

When the Cyberman invasion of Earth was being organised with the co-operation of industrialist Tobias Vaughn, he was given instructions on how to build a Planner, to be housed in a secret compartment at his London HQ. This was dubbed the Cyber Director, but fulfilled the same functions as the Planner. Again, it had organic material in its construction. When forced to destroy it after the Cybermen threatened to destroy the planet, Vaughn commented that it felt like he had killed a living creature.

The Cybermen attempted to create a new Cyber Planner on the planet where Hedgewick's World of Wonders had been established. At first they were going to harness the imagination and creativity of children - Clara's wards Artie and Angie - but they then decided to use the Doctor instead. Previously, Time Lord biology had been incompatible for conversion, but this had changed. Using the Doctor also meant that the Cybermen could gain the knowledge of the Time Lords to add to their own Cyberiad network. The Doctor had to fight a mental duel with that part of his mind that had been taken over by the Cyber Planner, whom he dubbed Mr Clever. The two played a game of chess to see who would win outright control. Gold could disable the Cyber components grafted onto the Doctor. In order to solve the chess problem, the Planner had to make use of the processing power of the entire Cyberman army, giving Clara and the others enough time to defeat them. A powerful electrical shock burnt out the Cyber components and rid the Doctor of Mr Clever.

Appearances: The Wheel In Space (1968), The Invasion (1968), Nightmare in Silver (2013).

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